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How to Choose the Right Video Security System for Your Organization

Are you starting to experience challenges with your existing video surveillance system? Perhaps your current system is aging and in need of replacement, or your organization has reprioritized physical security and updated its requirements.

Regardless of the motivation for change, approaching a new technology project is easier with an understanding of your organization and team’s needs, the solutions landscape and the purchasing process.

Let’s look at some of the ways to assess your current surveillance system, determine your business needs, and evaluate the current market.  Following this process will help you be better equipped to choose the right security camera system for your business.

Assess Your Current Situation

Before jumping into infrastructure upgrades or modifications, it is prudent to evaluate the current state of security within your organization. You’ll want to identify who should be involved, what gaps exist in your current setup, and how updating your system might impact processes and procedures. Seeing your reality clearly will help you build a strategy that your team, budget, and infrastructure has the capacity to support.

Questions to Help Guide Your Assessment:

  1. What is your surveillance system designed to accomplish? 
  2. Has your company introduced new security requirements since you installed your system?
  3. Can your system adapt to meet those requirements?
  4. Is there a cost associated with bringing your existing system up to date?
  5. Does it perform consistently when you need it to?
  6. Are there established protocols that lead to reliable, intended outcomes each time?
  7. How will your existing system adapt to the evolving cyber threat landscape?
  8. What are the biggest pains associated with your existing system? 

Is Your Existing Surveillance System Efficient and Effective?

There are a wide range of video surveillance systems available in the marketplace that aim to provide physical security and thwart safety threats. However, the options vary in usability, reliability and functionality. Before you can explore a new system, it’s important for you to clearly understand the capabilities of your current system.

Determine Your Business Needs

Once you understand how your surveillance system functions, the next step is to figure out if it can meet your evolving business needs. Ask yourself what’s not happening that should be happening.

Often organizations will enter the selection process with a list of “needs”  – such as custom integrations or specialized features. During the process, businesses often realize that many of these “needs” are in fact “wants”, rather than actual requirements. So, it’s important to understand the difference, and ensure that the list is qualified accordingly.

Key Considerations:

Here are a few key considerations to help you determine what stands between where you are and where you want to be. 

  1. How many cameras do you need (indoor/outdoor, per location)?
  2. What visibility do you need?  
  3. How long do you need to store footage? 
  4. Who needs to access footage? 
  5. How do first responders get access in case of an incident? 
  6. Where will users need to access footage? 
  7. Do you need security cameras to integrate with other systems?

Evaluate Surveillance System Options

Exploring a number of systems may seem to prolong or complicate the decision-making process, but researching the solutions landscape can reveal hidden needs or opportunities. Pollock Company can help you weigh your options, and consider the benefits and limitations of each. 

Consider the Costs

After reviewing the market offerings, you may already have a sense of which type of product is best suited to meet your business needs. Before making that final decision, it’s useful to develop an understanding of total cost of ownership.

Costs generally include physical products, installation, ongoing maintenance and staffing. However, the actual and supplemental cost of each of those categories can vary significantly from solution to solution. 

Considerations that Influence Total Cost

  • Physical Products
    • How many cameras do you need? 
    • Will you need to purchase monitors? 
    • Will you need to purchase additional routers or firewalls? 
    • Will you need servers to add or scale capacity? 
  • Installation
    • Who will install your system? 
    • Will it need to integrate with other systems (employee badges, alarms, etc.)? 
    • Does your setup require updates to support power over Ethernet? 
  • Maintenance
    • Are software updates automatic? 
    • Does your product offer a warranty? 
  • Staffing
    • Can footage be viewed remotely or will you incur overtime or travel costs? 
    • Do you require 24/7 monitoring? 
    • How much time does it take to search or share footage in case of an incident? 

Need Help? Contact Pollock Company

If your organization needs help assessing your existing system, determining your business needs, or exploring the solutions market, Pollock Company can help. Contact us today to request a free assessment.  We’re ready to support your business’s needs.

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